Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Historic Day - and an evening with Andrew Marr

You may ask yourself in years to come where you were on the day the country got a new Prime Minister. And who were you able to discuss it all with. Well, I was extremely privileged to be hosting an event at Cobbetts Solicitors where the guest speaker was BBC journalist Andrew Marr, presenter of the most wonderful TV series Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain. In time I'll even get to review the book he signed for me.

Regular readers of the Marple Leaf will know I am a Tony Blair fan, always have been, always will be. We will miss him when he's gone. He has left office with grace and gratitude. He will have been haunted by the pictures of Margaret Thatcher leaving in tears with the knives in her back. He has walked tall, and so he should, we will not see his like again.

If it were not for the hugely unpopular war in Iraq, Blair would be heralded as a great leader. But this was the issue that has laid bare the spin.

The measure of Blair's rule is that he sees the Middle East as unfinished business and wants to put right what he couldn't sort out as PM. Gordon Brown will be planning the withdrawl of troops right now.

Here are ten thoughts on today, from Andrew Marr.

* Ken Clarke is Andrew Marr's favourite politician, both he and Norman Lamont laid the foundations for the last ten years of stability.

* In 1994 Blair was ready to pack it in and go back to being a barrister, he thought Labour was a lost cause.

* Manchester is one of the success stories of the Blair years. The Labour conference opened the eyes of the world's media to a friendly city, in contrast to Blackpool.

* Gordon Brown is a charmless, dour and obsessive character who believes the world was a better place when it rained in Manchester, buildings were black with soot, and we all worked hard. He has a pessimisstic view of human nature that he shares with Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail.

* Brown would not have known how to react after Diana's death, or 9/11, or 7/7 in the way that Blair instinctively did.

* Sarah Brown will be much more in the background than Cherie Blair, who was always the most political one in the Blair household.

* Tony Blair will be feeling absolutely wretched tonight.

* David Cameron is very clever, but people don't know what to make of him yet.

* Gordon Brown will call an early election, but the Conservatives will win, the country is ready for change.

* Andrew Marr is a gentle hamster, he says, and definitely not a feral beast.

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